INQUIRY. In his discussion of John Dickson Carr and why his work has not often been adapted into movies, Marv Lachman states: “Locked Room mysteries do not transfer easily to the screen, and that was Carr’s specialty. In fact, I can think of few movies in which the detection was well handled, let alone with fair play. THE KENNEL MURDER CASE and GREEN FOR DANGER are two exceptions.”
My question is, what other movies can you think of in which “fair play” detection is adequately displayed on the screen, Golden Age style? Would, for example, the television show Murder, She Wrote satisfy your requirements?
My film web site has a list of recommended Real Mystery Movies. These are films in which a mysterious situation is solved at the end. The list is at: http://members.aol.com/MG4273/mysmov.htm
The list includes films I personally enjoyed seeing, so it is quite idiosyncratic. Many of these films are NOT fair play. But some of them are.
This is apparently the only list of its kind in existence. Most critics seem to make no distinction between crime thrillers without mystery, and films in which a mystery is solved.
Probably, there are many additional good films which should be on this list. During a discussion of this list a year ago on the yahoo group GAdetection, Jon L. Breen recommended THE LAST OF SHEILA, for example.
Still, it is a place for mystery lovers to start researching the history of true mystery films.
Steve: It is apparent that the list of “fair play” detective movies is a smaller subset of a list such as the one Mike has created. It may be that such movies are very difficult to do, or something which is more discouraging, that movie-makers feel that movie-goers will not sit still for such dull movie-making. They may be right.
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